Green Giveaway

October 11, 2010, 07:00 am  Posted by Lark

When I was growing up, my family continued to use things until they just couldn’t be repaired any more. Nowadays it sometime seems that we’ve become a drive-thru society, leaving a trail of disposables in our wake. So I’m cheering on the recycle/reuse green movement. Clever people are leading the charge as they transform trash—metal cans, glass bottles, and plastic bottles and bags—and discards—old books, sweaters, mouse pads—into a variety of attractive and useful items and stunning (and sometimes whimsical) works of art.

To celebrate, Lark Crafts is giving away four books that embrace the recrafting spirit. With the holidays coming up, a recrafted item is a thoughtful gift to give to friends, family, and Mother Earth. It’s also easy on the wallet.

In eco craft you’ll find ideas for what to do with everything from plastic six-pack holders and empty coffee bags to old suitcases and baby bar jars.

Eco Books will show you how practically anything that’s destined for the trash  can be imaginatively transformed into a fabulous book.

With Fantastic Recycled Plastic you can turn empty plastic bottles into fantastic earrings, creatures, and even a hanging lamp.

Felt It! Stitch it! Fabulous! takes those old outdated sweaters out of attics and thrift stores and gives them a new lease on life in the form of stylish scarves, hats, and bags.

To be entered for a chance to win this foursome, just leave a comment on this post by 9 pm EST on Monday, October 18. One winner will be selected at random and announced Monday, October 25. Click here for the official rules. You can leave any comment but it’d be great if you shared a recrafting tip that you yourself have done or one that you’ve seen and thought, “Now isn’t that a great idea?!”


74 Responses

    Ainslie B says:

    It is such a please to recraft something and give it as a gift – people love what I have turned things into – I wait for my girls to grow out of their pretty bought clothes and then I cut up the best details of them and make new clothes or quilts for friends. They are always much treasured items. It is so nice to see this becoming more fashionable as it is better to be creative and thrifty rather than just mindlessly spending! thanks for the competition opportunity!

    Momshillman says:

    I love that we can all start thinking of repurposing or upcycling in new and different ways. I have to say that I’m a little obsessed with containers, tin cans, tea tins, you name it, I try to find another use for it. Thanks for the giveaway.

    Rulon10498 says:

    Very neat ideas!

    CJ says:

    Found an old movie book about Westerns in my folks’ attic, but some pages were missing. I love Westerns and cowboys so altered the book with some of my favorite movie and tv cowboys and Western lore. A book that was neglected and collecting dust is now a treasure.

    Alicia says:

    I am going to try to make a few little girl dresses out of thrift shop men’s shirts! I think its a neat project and I can’t wait to try it! upcycle!

    marissamakes says:

    What an awesome selection of titles! I’m making felted sweater flower brooches for friends this year. I’ve got quite the collection of jam and pasta sauce jars growing for Holiday packaging, too. I fill them with shredded paper grocery bags to make a nice cushy bed for the brooch, then decorate the jars with scraps of fabric, trim and buttons. It’s a cute way to make use of little leftover bits!

    Tamie says:

    I love recycling/ reusing things. I have one friend that makes super light weight drawstring mesh bags for produce so you don’t have use the plastic bags at the grocery store. And one of my daughters wanted wool mittens for Christmas last year. I immediately turned to Etsy and found a crafter that upcycles wool sweaters from the thrift store into mittens. They were just what I was looking for and my daughter loves them. Thanks for the giveaway.

    Janel says:

    I love repurposing things I find at the thrift store. I am especially interested in Eco Books, since I love to carry notepads with me at all times! Thanks for the great giveaway!!

    Cynthia H says:

    Love this giveaway! I recycled several stacking cardboard fruit containers (the box & baskets that you get when you buy a flat of berries) into craft storage by covering with bright dollar store tissue paper and glue. Perfect for all those small things that tend to get lost among other supplies!

    CreativeARTitude at hotmail dot com

    wenona says:

    I have eco-crafts but not the other books, would love to win

    Terilhack says:

    I love taking older faded shirts and making them into peasant skirts for the kids to wear.

    Rebecca says:

    One of my favorite acts of creativity is finding new life for something spent!

    Ardeasnest says:

    I would love to win these books! I sew a lot, so I repurpose a lot of clothing. I try to look for blue jeans that have seen better days. They make great totes and purses, book covers, and what ever. If there are stains or holes in the parts I want to use, I just cover them with applique or embroidery. And the leftover bits get saved to make patches for hubby’s “play clothes”.

    MountainRose says:

    I love re-crafting and am always amazed by the creativity artists show in re-using materials others see as too ordinary for value. But my current favorite re-crafted item is a pair of earrings I picked up at The Big Crafty in Asheville. They’re made with complementary blue beer bottle caps and buttons. I get tons of comments and compliments every time I wear them. Conversation starters, as well as a few more tidbits out of the landfill. Go, re-crafting!

    Stephmissvolgo says:

    My husband and I love using reclaimed wood to make beautiful picture frames.

    Caitlin says:

    I save all my little snippets of threads and yarn from stitching and knitting, as well as small fabric scraps, and use them to stuff pillows, plush animals, etc. I still use some batting or stuffing from the store but this stretches it much further. Thanks for the giveaway, these books look great!

    EvaCatHerder says:

    The first time I read about the giveaway, I missed that it included all 4 books, so I found myself stuck and trying to figure out which one I wanted. After all, I had already made a water bottle holder out of an old stained shirt (that I loved and couldn’t bear to get rid of completely) and I am sketching plans to make a purse out of a well-loved, but worn out dress. I have been reading about ways to make a bird feeder to entertain my cats (I suspect the making of the bird feeder will be way less entertaining to them than the birds that actually eat from it) and the options I am considering include an apple cider jug and plastic cups with a canopy made of a wire hanger and a sturdy plastic bag. My favorite notebooks are former Goldenbooks turned into notebooks. I have thought about making my own, but the whole binding thing throws me off. And EcoCraft just sounds like the beast of all worlds. So how could I choose?!?!?! But then I realized that I don’t need to, which just made me very happy

    AWesinger says:

    One of my favorite re-crafting projects as a kid was to take tin cans and puncture the side to leave tiny holes. Then put a lit candle in at at night… As an adult I salvage old clothes for the fabric and make quilts.

    eyepopart says:

    I am so interested in that recycled plastic book! I love to make things from recycled vinyl…records…such as cuffs, clocks, bowls, jewelry, pinwheels for the garden.

    Susan Caspian says:

    i’m excited to have found your site! need to jump start my handwork and this is just the way to do it – thanks Craft Leftovers!

    Gillwatson says:

    My parents were big recyclers without even realising it – it certainly didn’t have a name!
    I love using used fabrics from curtains,sheets,duvet covers ets to make something new!

    Karen says:

    I my I would LOVE these books for my classroom library…..with all of the budget cuts in the arts ( my supply budget is 1/3 what it was 4 years ago for the same number of kids)…it would lead to so many teaching ideas I am sure!

    Jean Babbage says:

    These e-books look like a fun way to use things! Thanks for the oppotunity to get them free!

    Michelle says:

    I’ve made a bag out of an old wood sweater. I felted it and then sewed pieces of it together. I’d like to work on something on a smaller scale, like jewelry.

    Sarah H says:

    I save my wine corks and make cork boards by cutting them in half and gluing to old pictures.

    Marilyn says:

    I would love to have these books! I recycle everything I can and I shop at Good Will & other thrift stores for items to use for upcyling. I recently found 3 very plain votive candle holders. Using etching cream, I put a design on them and have a unique set of candle holders that I plan to give as a holiday gift. The ideas in these comments are great and are giving me new ideas to try. The books would give me lots more. Thanks for offering this foursome as a giveaway.

    Melissa says:

    All those “free” address labels that come in the mail — I cut of the return address and leave the small “pictures” that adorn one side. The “stickers” are small but perfect for my grandchildren’s fingers — and no fighting over a particular image because there are so many repeats. The 4 books you are offering look like they would open up a world of possibilities. Thank you for your generosity.

    Lilfishstudios says:

    Oh this is a crafter’s dream collection! I’d love to have a peek in these. I repurpose a lot of materials, but a project I just did with my kids was to cover an empty glass jar with a felted sweater sleeve. It makes a lovely vase and really is about the easiest project ever.

    Thanks for the chance to win!

    Colleen says:

    What a great giveaway! I make headband and hairties out of old tshirts! Thanks!

    Chris says:

    I could really use these books for holiday gift giving! Thanks for the chance.
    I made legwarmers out of my dads old wool sweaters.

    Merrie Jo says:

    I collect “stuff” all the time but never can figure out what to do with it. Sounds like these 4 books is just what I need.

    Kelly Irene says:

    Oh, these books look fantastic! I like to repurpose old sheets into kids clothes for a vintage feel that still allows me to do something creative.

    Canarytv2 says:

    I would love to have this set of books. I need fun ideas to pass on to students and scouts, gotta start them young to get their creative juices churning. Thanks for the chance to win these

    poppychic says:

    I love these books! I like to use flower paper punches on recycled soda cans then add a pop of spray paint to create cool faux enamel flowers for earrings, brooches and hair pins!

    Gussek says:

    I would love to win! Thanks so much. My tip is to save Altoid tins for stitch markers, needles, etc. They work great to throw in your project bag. Debbie in Alaska

    Marcia W. says:

    We take used wire, posts, etc. and refashion these into rose garden trellises, and cages for vegetables and small fruit trees. It does have to look good too! And lastly, our nickname for the “dump” is the “pic-n-save”. My latest finds were outdoor wooden tables that are the right height for my elderly mother to use for her gardening area where she starts plants from cuttings. I cleaned them and gave a light sand – looks good.

    JenBal says:

    We’re making puppet theaters out of old cereal boxes. We’re painting them, adding lots of doo-dads, glitter, papers, etc. and curtain, of course! (We made finger puppets last week). We love to upcycle things.

    jan says:

    I use the packaging from craft supplies (cardboard backing, especially, bonus if its colorful) to make pages in mini books.

    jan says:

    I make mini book pages from craft supply packaging.

    Anonymous says:

    I would love to win these books. As well as great ideas for gifts, I could use the ideas with my students to show them that creativity isn’t all about the money you canthrow at it.
    My recrafting tip: Save junk mail, cut into A6 size sheets, stick a Sudoku/crossword/wordsearch cut from an old newspaper onto each sheet. Add cover sheets cut from old packaging card and make into a booklet. This makes a great stocking gift for visiting relatives at Christmas, and keeps them occupied too.

    justval says:

    What a great selection of books. I would love to win, especially the Felt it, Stitch it. Now all those wool sweaters I have been collecting at yard sales will become fabulous accessories!

    Julia in WDM says:

    very interested to see the eco book book.

    Emillie says:

    Such a fun giveaway! Would love to win!! My favorite repurposing craft is turning our old tshirts into bibs! They make for some very cute bibs!


    ginny says:

    Wonder if the Fantastic Recycled Plastic book covers making things with plarn. I’ve been crocheting grocery store bags into wallets and bowls and would love more inspiration!

    Carmen says:

    Recycled plastic sounds like a winner!

    My mom was a hippy, so I was raised to reuse and be creative, so being able to use both makes some of the best gifts! These books sounds like so much fun, what a great giveaway!

    cindyB says:

    Oh my, the fantastic recycled plastic book is right up my alley! Rarely is anything thrown out in my art studio, as everything has another life just waiting to be discovered.

    Poppy says:

    Awesome giveaway and wonderful books! I love to repurpose things around my house and my kids do, too. I make bottlecap necklaces with soda pop tabs as the bail. We also reuse clothing for other projects that require fabric.

    colette says:

    always looking forward to more ideas in recycling. i recycle all kind of packaging and alter them to storage supplies or craft packaging.

    Lisa P says:

    I would love to win these books! I crochet purses out of discarded vhs and 8 track tapes :)

    Cclilly says:

    I’m interested lately in the concept of repurposing old hardcover books.

    Elizabeth Libbey says:

    What a wonderful selection of books. Would love more inspiration for repurposing.

    Tara J. says:

    I love these give-aways. I’m a Lark book addict.

    Lorraine Robson Ceramics says:

    I collect the used tiny plastic taster cups from food fairs and promotional exhibitions. The sales folk and promoters think I’m mad but once washed out (not pleasant) the cups can be used in my art projects to give small children tiny individual pots of expensive ceramic glazes, helping avoid spillages and colour contamination. The plastic cups also make interesting light weight sculptural forms when glued together.

    I’ve been salvaging colorful little gift books from the free shelf at the used book store, and either making them into blank journals or folding them into business card and photo holders. And I’ve been weaving rag rugs for a long time!

    Debpariseau says:

    Great photo! Great idea!

    Mail2thebrowns says:

    I would love to have these books, fun ways to express yourself and good for the environment.

    Susanlambert says:

    My middle school art classes use books that would have been discarded. We glue pictures in them to share with other classes. Teaching recycling and environmental awareness is something I do when teaching Art.
    Susan Lambert

    CHERYL says:

    Another great give-away. Thanks, Lark.

    RaccoonLdy says:

    I just LOVE to recycle! I’ve made art quilts from old clothing, clothing from old quilts, books from flip-flops, books from ice-broken trees, jewelry from almost everything rusty and discarded … I could go on and on! I would love to add these books to my collection!

    Lisa perez says:

    These look awesome.
    I’ve made several t shirt quilts out of old t shirts.

    Ooooh! I love these books! We try to reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible and these books would offer us even more ways. I use found objects and repurposed/upcycled items in all of my artwork!

    Ambercat_13 says:

    This is really cool. I think my love of re-using items for crafts began with Vicks Vaporub bottles – when I was a kid they were pretty blue glass. :)

    Elaine says:

    I would LOVE to win these books. I always get stumped for ideas for hand made gifts. But giving gifts made from recycled items would be great.

    Sarah M. says:

    I no longer buy shower curtain liners with PVC, but before I became as aware of available alternatives I began to save the used curtain liners as they needed to be phased out and I use underneath painting or staining projects. Likewise, when a sheet has had its glory days long, long ago and cannot be re-purposed in a visible project, I often use it as a dropcloth when painting walls or doing a similar inside project as this.

    Living in Japan, we see recyclables used in innovative ways all the time! Especially in our children’s schools, which is something I love, because it teaches kids that absolutely everything can be reused in some way.

    Christy says:

    What a great way to be green.

    Mommapudding says:

    I’d like to share these books with kids on Odyssey of the Mind, they up cycle loads already, but we run out of things to teach them if the same teams stay together.

    Ieva says:

    Recycled things inspire me. I used to made accerossory items for my place thus improving interior. I make vases or cancle-sticks from used glass bottles or jars, old magazine pages I use as wallpaper for my sitting room etc.

    these look amazing!

    Rarejewlz says:

    Growing up, my father didn’t throw much out and re-used items (a mindset of the Great Depression.) I keep things with more of a crafty purpose in mind. Currently, old dresses, shirts, and jeans are being cut up into patches of all shapes to make quilting blocks. Old sweaters in good shape can be made into little knit baby hats or soft toys for children in the hospitals. Buttons and zippered shirts with stains on them (not usable for the Goodwill even), are removed from the items to be made in little fabric zippered wallets with button decorations on ribbons or lace.

    Lucidmoonstudio says:

    I can’t think of any great recrafting ideas right now, but these books look like they are full of ideas! I have collections of wine corks, bottle caps, buttons, thread spools and tons of random things that I would love to recraft into cool stuff…just not sure what yet!

    Broadwaydiva says:

    These are great craft books even without the green factor. What a nice bonus!

    Joyciensd says:

    I’ve been a crafter to years – mainly sewing and jewelry – but now money is too tight for buying new supplies. So I’ve turned to Goodwill, Salvation Army, resale shops and garage sales for my materials and have been excited about my finds. Ive turned jeans, jackets and formal wear into purses. Am looking now for something to do with the thousands of buttons I’ve collected over the years.

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